Fans once again prove they have no idea how to run the Oilers

It's always fun when you ask fans about something the Oilers are doing, and they always make idiots of themselves proving they have no clue what they're talking about. Let's go back to the trade deadline for this one.
2021 Hockey Hall Of Fame Induction - Press Conference
2021 Hockey Hall Of Fame Induction - Press Conference / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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Arizona Coyotes moving to Salt Lake City

Sean Durzi, Dylan Guenther
Edmonton Oilers v Arizona Coyotes / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

Unless you've been living under a rock lately, you probably heard the news that the Arizona Coyotes will be moving to Salt Lake City starting in the 2024-25 NHL season. There's already an arena in place in the Delta Center and the new owner - whose name is Ryan Smith, oddly enough - wants the new Salt Lake City/Utah whatever to have their own home so he's already starting to angle for that.

Putting the Coyotes franchise out of their misery is long overdue. Ever since they moved here from Winnipeg in 1996 they've been through multiple owners (including the NHL itself for a time), even more GMs, head coaches, and a revolving carousel of players. They couldn't even settle on one arena to play in as they played in three different homes throughout their almost 20 years of existence. They were kicked out of their one permanent arena in Glendale after failing to pay the rent for years - or "administrative lapses" if you believe the official PR from the team, which is frankly laughable. The lack of non-hockey events to bring people to the arena certainly didn't help matters.

I wouldn't say Bettman's experiment into expanding into the Sun Belt has been a failure as the NHL has established successful franchises in Dallas, Las Vegas, two teams in Florida, one in North Carolina, one in Nashville, and two more that were added in California.

The one thing that was lacking in Arizona was on-ice performance - something that all the other Sun Belt franchises had to varying degrees (Dallas, Las Vegas, Tampa Bay, Carolina, Anaheim, and LA have all won the Cup at least once while Florida has made the Cup finals a couple of times as has San Jose once and Nashville once). NHL hockey would be the perfect sport to watch to escape the desert heat, but no one wants to watch a losing hockey team no matter where it's located. IIRC they made the conference finals once but never came close to a Cup. The only bad thing for the few Coyotes fans left is that the team is leaving right when it's actually starting to have a decent on-ice product thanks to a too-late competent GM in Bill Armstrong.

As part of the deal to move to SLC, soon-to-be ex-owner Alex Meruelo will be awarded an expansion franchise by Bettman if he can get another arena built in the next five years. That may be easier said than done as the final nail in the Coyotes' coffin was the last site in Tempe, Arizona was proposed and rejected by local officials. Now Meruelo will have to try and get an arena built in an area where the previous site was well known not to have paid its bills. Good luck to him, but at least now he's got the $1.2 billion he made from the sale which will probably finance his arena, if not most of it.

The NHL doesn't seem to want to give up on it's Sun Belt markets - even Atlanta, which is home to two previous failed NHL forays - one of which moved to Calgary to become the Flames and the other moved to Winnipeg to become the Jets 2.0 - is rumored to have multiple groups interested in bringing NHL hockey to Atlanta for the third time.

Other sites trying to get an NHL franchise that have come up at various times in the news include Houston, Kansas City, Portland, and Quebec City (again). It remains to be seen whether the NHL's future ambitious expansion into Europe will bear fruit within the next few decades as travel would be an issue.